JU-B Weekly Note

Happy Friday, JU-B!

This has been a truly wonderful week in JU-B! Students have been incredibly productive as they’ve worked hard on a variety of Theme and Writing projects. Our classroom has been buzzing all week, and it’s felt wonderful!

Through our studies this week, we’ve been focusing on the idea of showing, and not just telling. In Theme, that’s involved students choosing one of the first six gods and goddesses to become an expert on. Students worked within a group of four to read a packet of new myths involving their god or goddess as well as alternative versions of myths they read in D’Aulaires. As groups read, they captured notes. Next, students worked to synthesize their understanding of the stories as they outlined and then wrote a script for a skit about their god or goddess. Students worked hard on their scripts over the course of a series of double work periods, as well as workshops and at home. It was great to see students so engaged and eager to collaborate. At lunch time, many students chose to create costumes and props for their skits. Next week we will rehearse our skits and then perform them for one another on Tuesday! As we were working on our scripts, we discussed how to balance the use of character dialogue with a narrator’s overview as students worked to show their audience rather than just telling them.

We supported our theater work with three different acting-related games. Ask your child about Welcome to the Party, Freeze, and In the Manner of the Adverb. All of these games pushed student to show (through acting!) rather than flat-out tell.

Students completed rough drafts of their personal narratives. In our writing mini-lessons, we focused on sensory details and doing the work of painting a mental picture for our reader. Students are now working on typing their stories so we are ready for the peer-revision stage next week.

In math classes this week, fifth graders continued to explore exponents and practiced multiplying numbers by positive and negative powers of ten. Fifth grade parents, ask your child to show you what happens when you multiply a number by 106. Fourth graders have almost completed their introductory unit on multiplication and, this week, used multiplicative comparisons to describe the relative sizes of different objects. You can practice this around the house, fourth grade parents! Try asking your child questions like, “About how many times taller is the ceiling than the desk? The window is how many times wider than each window pane?”

We’re looking forward to seeing you all at conferences soon! If you haven’t signed up for a time yet, please be in touch with your child’s advisor.


Hilary and Dan